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EFSA Announces Major Transparency Initiative

Posted: January 14, 2013

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has launched an initiative designed to promote access to data, enhancing transparency in risk assessment. 

As a result, the EFSA now has all data on genetically modified (GM) maize NK603 publicly available on its website and has opened up access to its scientific committee and panel meetings  to promote better understanding of how scientific risk assessment is carried out. 

“Risk assessment is an evolving science and EFSA is always willing to review its past work should new robust science bring a new perspective to any of the authority’s previous findings," said Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, EFSA's executive director.  

"With the launch of today’s initiative that aims to make data used in risk assessment publicly available, EFSA will help scientists from different areas of expertise develop research that can ultimately enrich academic literature and provide valuable new perspectives that can be included in risk assessments," Geslain-Lanéelle added. "This will make the conclusions of risk assessments even stronger when ensuring public health protection and further build confidence in EFSA’s work."

The program, to be developed in cooperation with the authority’s partners and stakeholders, builds on a range of measures already undertaken by EFSA such as publishing the full list of scientific studies and previously unpublished data on aspartame during formulation of the authority’s current draft opinion. 

EFSA’s strategy also highlights the importance of making relevant scientific data more accessible to all interested parties. Given the level of public interest, EFSA will also make all data on genetically modified (GM) maize NK603 publicly available on its website. While the authority has already made available these data upon specific request on several occasions, any member of the public or scientific community will now be able to examine and use the full data sets used in this risk assessment.